Tulsa & OKC in Top 10 for Value

With taxes, housing, food and other costs varying widely across the U.S., a $100,000 income can look drastically different depending on where you live. Even places that don’t charge residents a state or local income tax can see a wide range for how far a dollar stretches thanks to cost of living differences. Because of the nature of compounding, the wide differences in the value of a $100k income can have life-changing effects on your long-term finances, particularly early on in your investment career.

With this in mind, SmartAsset adjusted a $100,000 income for federal, state and local taxes, as well as local cost of living premiums, to find the purchasing power – or effective value – of that money in 72 of the largest U.S. cities. Good News in Oklahoma, both Tulsa and OKC score in the top ten for value.

Key Findings

  • $100k goes furthest in El Paso, TX. With no state or local income taxes and a 12% discount on cost of living, a $100k income equates to $88,840 of purchasing power. Four other Texas cities made the top 10, including Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Lubbock and Houston.
  • A $100k salary is worth just $31,000 in Manhattan. With the highest cost of living and second-highest tax rate study-wide, this income may not offer much wiggle room in New York City. It’s more affordable in Brooklyn and Queens, where $100k is worth $43,376 (fourth least) and $49,978 (seventh least), respectively.
  • Baltimore residents face the highest income taxes. At the $100k income level, a Baltimore resident stands to lose up to 32.7% of their income to federal, state and local taxes. Meanwhile, residents in cities and states that forego income tax collection face a standard 22% federal rate. The average aggregate tax rate studywide is 26%.
  • In these four California cities, $100k gets halved. San Francisco, where $100k equates to $40,997; Los Angeles ($47,762); San Diego ($50,082); and Oakland  ($51,237) all make the top 10 cities where a $100,000 income is worth the least after adjusting for taxes and cost of living.

Where a $100k Income Goes Furthest

Cities are ranked by the purchasing power of $100k after accounting for federal, state and local taxes as well as cost of living premiums relative to the U.S. average.

Top 10 Cities Where $100,000 Goes Furthest

  1. El Paso, TX: $88,840
  2. Oklahoma City, OK: $87,585
  3. Memphis, TN: $86,960
  4. Corpus Christi, TX: $86,383
  5. San Antonio, TX: $85,625
  6. Lubbock, TX: $85,065
  7. Tulsa, OK: $84,507
  8. Jacksonville, FL: $83,878
  9. Houston, TX: $82,986
  10. St. Louis, MO: $82,614

Click here for the full report with all major cities listed.

About the author: Jaclyn Dejohn is Managing Editor of Economic Analysis at SmartAsset. With a bachelor of arts in economics from The College of New Jersey, she evaluates data for trends that affect your financial life. As a spokesperson for SmartAsset, she has been cited by Bloomberg, CNBC, Business Insider, Fox News, The Hill and many more. Jaclyn was previously an editor for CNET Money, where she covered banking, investing, credit cards and real estate. She also served as managing editor of small business content for Bizfluent, Work.Chron and AZCentral, and as a research consultant for NAPCO Media. As a past real estate licensee and Reatlor®, Jaclyn managed contracts for residential properties, while working closely with first-time homebuyers, investors and mortgage brokers.

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